Through trade on the Kennet and Avon Canal began in1801 with goods moved by a horse-drawn railway up and down Caen Hill. In 1810 the flight of 22 locks opened.
Main photo is by Mike Downs. Industrial use declined after the railways were built and the last commercial transport was in 1921.
By the 1950s and 60s the canal was in disrepair. A volunteer effort with lottery funds has now made the canal an important nature and recreational heritage resource.